McCamy Taylor's Journal
Member since: Tue Nov 9, 2004, 07:05 PM
Number of posts: 16,138
Number of posts: 16,138
Here is my fiction website: http://home.earthlink.net/~mccamytaylor/ My political cartoon site: http://www.grandtheftelectionohio.com/
- 2016 (3)
- 2015 (72)
- 2014 (79)
- 2013 (4)
- 2012 (69)
- 2011 (13)
- December (13)
- Older Archives
Yes, you, the one with platinum plated health insurance through your job. You, the one with all those millions of dollars in the bank and the sound real estate investments (property is always a good bet). You, the socially responsible one who runs the organic farm and makes pretty good money doing it--enough that you could afford "silver" insurance through the ACA. You, the retired teacher with Medicare and a supplemental.
It does not matter if you have health insurance. If there is no place nearby where you can use that insurance in an emergency, you could die.
Just like Portia Gibbs in North Carolina. Four days before her heart attack, the local hospital closed, a victim of lack of funding. So, when Ms Gibbs had her heart attack, it took a Medevac helicopter more than an hour to arrive. She died just as the helicopter was about to lift off. Would she have survived had there been a closer ER?
“Before, she would have been given nitroglycerin, put in the back of an ambulance and been to a hospital in about 25 minutes,” said Belhaven Mayor Adam O’Neal. “In that hour that she lived, she would have received 35 minutes of emergency room care, and she very well could have survived.”
The pace of rural hospital closures has accelerated in recent years. And while many factors are to blame, one of the biggest is the decision by some states to reject the Medicaid expansion. Take a look at the map of closures in this article and you will see the pattern.
Texas and the Deep South have been especially hard hit. Texas and most of the Deep South rejected the Medicaid expansion. They claimed it would cost taxpayers too much money. They did not mention that rejecting the expansion might cost taxpayers their lives.
When hospitals close, people die. Not just one or two people here or there. Here is a study from California about the effects of ER closures.
They found that 4 million of those admissions were to hospitals located near another emergency department that had closed. Patients at the affected hospitals were more likely than patients at unaffected hospitals to be black, Hispanic, female and under the age of 65; they were also more likely to be uninsured or on Medicaid, and to be sicker overall.
Keep in mind that the people 15% more likely to die made it to another hospital. If you can not get to the closest hospital because your disease will kill you in 60 minutes after presentation---like, say for instance, a heart attack, the number one killer in the country--- and the closest ER is 90 minutes away, your chance of death is 100%.
Do you hear that? The silence? That is how your heart monitor would sound if they bothered to hook you up to one after you arrived at the closest rural ER by ambulance thirty minutes after dying. But they won't bother. You'll be pronounced DOA, and once you are dead, you will not be able to raise your voice and demand that your state officials do something to improve your access to care. You will be as voiceless as all the poor folks that no one seems to notice got left out of so called "universal healthcare."
So, use your voice while you still have one.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Mon Feb 9, 2015, 01:38 AM (1 replies)
Here are how I see the stakes in the next election. We, in Texas---and in a lot of other so called "Red" states--are still suffering from a massive uninsured problem. Take kids. We are supposed to have universal health coverage for kids, right? Not true. A state can offer Medicaid and SCHIP, but if it throws up barriers and makes the process all but impossible to navigate and tells inquiring parents "You don't qualify" over the phone when they really do, that state will not have universal coverage of kids. Texas is one of the states with shamefully high rates of qualified kids who lack coverage. Other red states are the same.
Then there are the millions who would have qualified for the Medicaid expansion---had the state not decided to "opt out"---an innocuous sounding little phrase which really means "let poor folks die and let the rural hospitals that serve them go out of business so that no one living in the country can get timely emergency care while residents of big cities continue to pay high taxes to fund healthcare for the poor but who cares about residents of Texas big cities they are all Democrats anyway?" Yes, that is what "opt out" really means---death to the rural poor and death to everyone who lives in the country who has an emergency---like the little girl who choked on a grape and was rushed to the local ER only to find that the local (rural) ER had closed so she died. What? You thought the GOP was the party of family values and lower taxes? Silly rabbit. In urban areas in red states, we are being taxed twice, once to pay for health care for our local uninsured and once to pay for everyone else's health care. Meaning it is not about the money. Red states love them some free federal money. It's about the possibility that some brown or black person might get a timely coronary stent and survive a heart attack. And as for the children---the GOP is only about family values if it is their own children. If the village plans to take care of someone else's kids, then the village is a commie-pinko plot that must go.
Speaking of the village, we know who believes in the power of villages. We know who is not afraid to stand up to tyrants abroad and capitalists at home when women and children are being victimized. That's right. Mom. Our next president needs to have a healthy dose of "mom" because the kids in this country need someone to raise them out of poverty and women need someone to make pay parity more than just a great sounding law. And no, you do not have to be a woman to possess inner "mom." You just have to believe in your heart that a village or state or country is only as healthy as its most unfortunate citizens. What does the Evil-anti-mom believe? That having a certain level of unemployment, a certain level of childhood poverty and a certain level of pay disparity is important in keeping the rich rich.
Oh, I almost forgot the folks who have ACA but can not afford to use it. That must be because everyone else has forgotten them, too. You remember that lifetime cap that was supposed to keep people from spiraling into endless debt because of a catastrophic illness? Guess what happens if you stick that cap up front as a deductible? People can no longer afford to use their ACA except in an emergency. And you might be surprised at how many people think that angina--chest pain---and mini strokes are not true emergencies. People with a $5000 deductible (and yes, there really are people out there with plans like that, even though some folks claim that they exist only in the same imaginary realm as the Easter Bunny) will refuse any and all testing/specialty evaluation and treatment if it costs more than a Band-Aid and a $4 prescription as long as they are capable of dragging themselves to work. By the time they can no longer drag themselves to work, it is often too late. ACA makes sure that the hospital gets paid for their end of life care, but it does not save lives. Well, I guess it does, in a way. It keeps the hospital open so that people who have better insurance will be able to use it for their own preventive care. But it does not cut down that pesky ER wait that can stretch to hours in a typical urban hospital, because so many uninsured and under-insured people still have to use the ER as their primary care doctor, since it is the only doc in town that does not demand payment at the time of service.
The ACA is failing folks with so called "expensive" diseases like HIV, too, by forcing them to pay more for medications they need in order to survive.
"Eliminating discrimination on the basis of preexisting conditions is one of the central features of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)," said Doug Jacobs, MD/MPH candidate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and lead author of the study. "However, the use of formularies to increase costs and dissuade those with preexisting conditions such as HIV from enrolling in the plan threatens to at least partially undermine this goal of the ACA."
I saw something really scary for the first time last week. A woman with HIV who used to be on medications but has been off for a year, because she could not afford to see a doctor or buy her meds under her plan and now she is extremely ill. When is the last time that happened? I can't remember. I hope I never ever see it again. Please make sure that it never happens again. Please make giving ALL folks insurance that they can use a priority in the next election.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sun Feb 8, 2015, 07:23 PM (2 replies)
And neither of them is anti-vaxx.
One of the most important tasks of public health is disease prevention. So, the number one priority of public health officials around the world is to make sure that people have access to safe and effective vaccines and that they get these vaccines. When we have an outbreak of a deadly disease like measles in the US or polio in the Middle East, public health's number one, two and three top jobs are to promote those vaccines. Period.
Then, once the epidemic is under control and the disease is no longer a threat, public health must encourage researchers to develop newer, more effective vaccines for the many infectious diseases that plague us. Remember, not all vaccines are the best vaccines that will ever be developed for a certain disease. The old horse serum rabies vaccines made people sick. The old Hep B vaccines were culled from the blood of winos and drug addicts. The old measles vaccine did not prevent measles. The first rota-virus vaccines had to be pulled from the shelf. However, at the time they were marketed, the inferior quality vaccine was all that was available. So, yes, I took my Hep B vaccine culled from the blood of winos, despite being aware of the risks, because as a medical student I did not want to get Hep B and I did not feel like waiting a few years to see if something better came down the pipeline---I needed that immunity then.
To those who are not immune to measles, this is a scary bad disease. While we do not see it much anymore, in my three decades of medical practice, the sickest people with viral infections that I have seen have had measles. One young woman ended up in the ICU with measles pneumonia. A healthy young woman. So, you want your child or young adult son or daughter to end up in the ICU with measles pneumonia? BTW, if you are younger than me--i.e. in your forties, thirties or twenties---you might want to have a measles titer done to see if you are immune. The measles cases I see are always in adults who either never got vaccinated or got one dose of vaccine so many decades ago that they lost their immunity. Most (but not all) children that I see are fully immunized, it's their parents who are the walking time bombs. As far as I am concerned, we ought to be offering every adult under 50 or 60 a free dose of MMR right now (with a few exceptions such as those who are attempting pregnancy or immune compromised). If you are not a member of one of those special groups, you should join the immune herd to protect those who can not get the vaccine.
I have one word for anti--vaxxers: tetanus. All the herd immunity in the world will not save your child from lockjaw if he or she steps on a rusty nail.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sat Jan 31, 2015, 02:40 PM (79 replies)
In Texas, a state legislator put an Israeli flag on her desk and instructed her staff to ask Muslim visitors to swear allegiance to the US. The swearing allegiance part was offensive. Muslims, like Catholics and Buddhists, have come to the US in order to take part in the American dream. They are here to go to school, become doctors and engineers, raise families and live the good life.
The Israeli flag was Bad Math.
There is a mathematical fallacy that is very popular today. It goes something like this:
Strength of Islam=Strength of Judaism - Antisemitism
There is a corollary that goes
Strength of Judaism=Strength of Islam-AntiIslamism
We see this same Bad Math at play when whites are told
The Strength of White Folks=The Strength of Black Folks-Racism
The Strength of Men=The Strength of Women-Sexism
And don't get me started on
Heterosexual Happiness =Homosexual Happiness-Homophobia
In fact, the happier and healthier and stronger everyone is in a democracy, the happier and healthier and stronger the democracy is. For instance, if workers of all races, religions and colors make a better wage, then they can buy more goods and services, making businesses healthier, creating jobs and raising wages. The only people who really benefit when wages are kept low are a handful of capitalists, via this equation
Vampire Capitalist Wealth=Worker's Wealth--Worker's Life Blood
Republican toadies of the Wealthy Vampire Capitalists may claim that they are aiding the cause of Jewish people worldwide when they put down Muslims. Do not be fooled. A very different equation describes their behavior:
Vampire Oil Executives Wealth=World Oil Reserves+US Military Invasions of Oil Producing Countries
And US Military Invasions of Oil Producing Countries=US Military Industrial Complex-US Voters' Esteem for People Who Live in Oil Producing Countries
Vampire Oil Executives Wealth=US Military Industrial Complex-US Voters' Esteem for People Who Live in Oil Producing Countries
Meaning that when a Texas GOP state legislator puts up an Israeli flag in her office to wave in the face of Muslim visitors, she is NOT showing her respect for Judaism---every Sunday her Church tells her that her mission in life is to convert Jewish people. She is showing her support for the all important Texas oil industry which wants 1) A Big US military to use as its private mercenary army (witness the invasion of Iraq) and 2) Carte Blanche to have millions of Muslims in other countries killed as they were killed during the Iraq war without having to worry that US voters will shed tears. Because they can always claim
"We're not killing Iraqi Muslims. We are supporting Israel!"
Math is tricky. I hope this helps.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sat Jan 31, 2015, 02:03 PM (0 replies)
Is Business in the Business of Turning India Fascist? Yeah, I'd say so.
Appalled today to read about India's hard turn to right under Modi. Even more alarmed when I read about how Muslims are being stigmatized. A standard tactic of fascist governments backed by the world business community is to divide and conquer the working class by redirecting its anger at a sizable minority. Were I Dalit (untouchable) in India, I would be very, very angry at a system that has conspired to keep me down because of my caste. How tempting it must be to those in power to distract me by holding up my Muslim neighbors as the real enemy, so that I will not notice that those in power are still keeping me down and stealing the fruit of my labor.
To my brothers and sisters in India, this is how it starts. You can kiss your vote---and your liberties---goodbye and jump on the pogrom bandwagon. Or, you can do something about it.
Here are some other folks who are worried, too:
However, if the Dalits in Narendra Modi's own backyard continue to face the heat of caste supremacy, it won't be too long before it becomes a political hot potato that Modi and BJP finds difficult to handle. Also, if the country indeed is looking for a 'change', the clean-up should start from the grassroots - a sizable part of which seems to have fallen in the wayside of the country's contemporary political narrative.
It was on his watch as chief minister that more than 1,000 people, many of them Muslims, were killed throughout Gujarat in 2002, when rioting erupted after some 60 Hindus died in a burning train in Godhra. A Human Rights Watch report that year asserted that the state government and local police officials were complicit in the carnage.
Alleging that the Modi government appeared to be "failing on all fronts", she said interests of capitalists were being safeguarded for which, the BSP leader said, changes were being made in laws, flouting the spirit of the Constitution.
Read the articles above and then ask yourself "Is the goal of so called Hindu nationalism to purge the 'foreign' influence of Islam? Or, is the goal of Hindu nationalism to keep the Dalit doing all the low paid menial work that no one else wants to do in order to make India attractive to domestic and foreign businesses?" Remember, one of the defining qualities of fascism is preoccupation with an "external" threat to the "purity" of the group. Funny how in cleansing the "external" threat, fascists always wind up stripping their "pure" brothers and sisters of their rights and driving down their wages.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sat Jan 3, 2015, 05:36 PM (6 replies)
This is a serious question. A whole lot of folks here are hyping a current Democrat who is on the record as having voted Republican up until the last two decades, because she favored GOP "economic" policies.
For all those quaking on the right at the sight of an ascendant Warren, rest easy. Warren’s no lefty. In fact, Warren was a registered Republican into her 40s. When it comes to ideology, Warren makes for a rotten heir to Kennedy.
Which GOP economic policies did the young Warren think were best for America? The ones that wanted to deny Medicare to the elderly? The ones that wanted to deny Blacks the vote? Or equal access to public accommodations? The ones that wanted to fund right wing coups in other countries (Nixon/Kissinger)? How about wars for oil (Vietnam)? The ones that tried to destroy labor unions? The ones that painted union leaders as "red"? We are are talking about "voting for Republican economic policies" during the LBJ administration and Nixon's administration and (more than likely) Jimmy Carter's and Ronald Reagan's. This is someone who thought that Dick Nixon was good for the well-being of the country. This is someone who could not see what was wrong with Reagan/Bush until the 1990's. That is a very slow learning curve. I don't know about you, but I want someone a little bit quicker on the uptake than that in charge of things. I want someone who understood in her youth that if equal justice is denied to others of different race, religion and ethnicity that a economic injustice is also being done.
Anyone who thinks that you can separate "social" from "economic" is kidding himself. Or herself. Years ago, in 1978 to be precise, a college history teacher announced that he was now an economic conservative though he was still a social liberal. I almost gagged. What he was really saying was "Some of my best friends are Black, but I want all that straight white male privilege that my father and my grandfather had. So, I'll just pretend not to notice that I get more than my fair share, because some other white guy has his boot heel square on the neck of some not so white guy." That kind of crazy "I'm a good person, really I am, but I don't want to waste my money helping other (Black) people's kids" is the kind of messed up thinking that got us Reagan/Bush.
You can not have social justice without economic justice. And you can not have economic justice without social justice. While I admire Sen. Warren's clear sightedness when it comes to the dangers of Wall Street's sleight of hand, there are plenty of right leaning capitalists out there who share her concerns. And they employ women for a fraction of what they pay men and they exploit migrant labor and they try to keep out unions in order to keep wages low and their profits high. That is old style Republican economic values.
Here is my litmus test for president. It's 1972. Who did you vote for? Who did you campaign for? If you say "Nixon, because I liked his economic policies" then there is no way I want you representing me in the White House. Anyone who knew the least little thing about politics knew that Dick Nixon was trouble. Anyone who voted for him anyway has got serious moral flaws---the kind that would allow him or her to say "Hey, the illegal incursion into Cambodia is not so bad. As long as the Stock Market stays solid."
Sen. Warren, will you please tell us what you thought when you watched Dick Nixon tell us about Cambodia? Did you gnash your teeth? Did you swear aloud? Did your heart break? Did you get out there and do something about it? If not, then do not attempt to run as a Democrat for president. Democrats need heart.
Seriously guys, if you really hate Hillary that much, why not attempt to draft Julian Castro? Now there is a Democrat that I could support at the top or the bottom of the ticket---a real Democrat.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sun Dec 21, 2014, 08:31 PM (98 replies)
There is no gray area here. Medical professionals are bound by an oath to "do no harm." When they devise ways to rape prisoners via "rectal hydration", when they supervise torture to make sure that it does not result in death or a prisoner who is too permanently impaired to serve as CIA witness or operative, when they interrogate prisoners under guise of providing mental health services, they have done harm. Massive harm. They have done harm using the skills they were taught during their medical training.
If a doctor or nurse or psychologist decides that he or she can best serve the country by participating in torture, then that med professional must be willing to give up his license to practice on anyone else. Ever. Because who among us would trust a doctor or nurse or therapist who knowingly tortured?
Each state has a medical board to keep us safe from quacks, hacks and criminal doctors. We have a board to make sure that the ICU nurse taking care of Grandma does not have a drug problem. Our therapists are licensed, and we demand that our states make sure that they follow certain ethical guidelines. If a psychologist uses info she has obtained in sessions in order to get close to a client and start a sexual relationship, she loses her license. Shouldn't a psychologist who uses info obtained in sessions in order to devise better ways to torture a prisoner get the same treatment?
This is not merely a matter of punishing the guilty. Our government has been entrusted with the job of protecting the public health. They check food to make sure that it is safe to consume. They check medications to make sure that quality control measures are being followed. They examine hospitals to ensure that facilities are safe. They license health care providers to protect us from harm.
We are oh so very vulnerable when we seek health care. We tell our doctor everything---about our drug use, our mental health issues, our sexual infidelities. We give our trust to---and place our lives in the hands of strangers when we go to the hospital emergency room.
A doctor who has committed a felony completely unrelated to medical practice is very likely to lose his or her license. Can we allow those who have committed war crimes to keep them? Whether or not you think that these folks are patriots, you must admit that they have shown a massive lack of human empathy. They have basic character flaws which make them unsafe as medical practitioners. Do you want to take the chance that one day you might (unknowingly) walk into the office of a doctor who used to torture for the CIA? Do you?
Do you want your son or daughter's life in the hands of a doctor who has proven himself willing to violate basic medical ethics, because a superior told him to? A professional does not answer to a "superior". A professional answers to his or her own conscience. Someone who once tortured because a superior told him to might recommend a surgery you do not need because a hospital administrator told him to. She might deny you a test you need because an insurance exec told her to. A health care professional who pleads "It wasn't me. I was just doing what I was told" is no longer a professional, because she is not there to serve you, she is there to serve someone else.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Sat Dec 13, 2014, 03:56 PM (9 replies)
Funny how Banksters are allowed to use words like "labor" and "capital", but when folks like me try to talk about the same topics, we are called "commie" and "red." Well, I am about to get red in the face here.
'Blankfein said that we have to accept these technological shifts and adjust to them. “I wouldn’t want to regret it, no sooner than I would want to curse the tides,” he said.'
Goldman Sach's CEO is talking about the tides that are taking the wealth of the laboring classes---the middle class, you and me--and handing it to the wealthiest folks on earth, the investors who sit on their butts all day making deals that make them some extra money that they can never spend---at the expense of the jobs that are the life blood of American workers.
Back in the old days, they had names for the guys who waited on the shore for ships to crash, so that they could plunder the goods that were washed onto the beach. And they had names for those who did not want to wait for nature to do its worst. These criminals would put up fake "lighthouse" lights in order to lure unwary ships into dangerous waters in order to engineer a wreck so that they could "salvage" (read "steal") the cargo.
The Banksters are doing the same thing to our economy. They are engineering the Shipwreck of the American Dream, costing millions their jobs, their homes, their health, their families---all for a few more bucks. What do you call someone who makes the entire ship go down with its crew in order to turn over a little profit? I call them short sighted, since without the consumer and the worker, there is no ship.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Thu Dec 11, 2014, 04:21 PM (0 replies)
We didn't rape and torture prisoners. We didn't allow a man to die of hypothermia in custody. We didn't start a warrantless domestic wiretap program before 9-11, or use 9-11 as an excuse to fulfill the plan set out in the Project for the New America Century, namely the "liberation" of Iraq's oil.
But fellow Americans did.
We didn't shoot an unarmed young man for the crime of wearing a hoodie while being Black. Or choke the life from a middle aged man for the crime of being overweight and unhealthy while being Black. We didn't blow away a child for the crime of holding a toy gun while being Black.
But fellow Americans did.
We didn't do this:
And we didn't do this:
And we certainly didn't do this (because it happened before we were born):
But fellow Americans did. And if we shelter those who committed these crimes, if we give them aid and deny their victims justice, then we really are no better than they are. And all those words about "inalienable rights" and "all men created equal" are just words with no more meaning than the latest slogan for a diet soda. And the rest of the world has every right to condemn us all as war criminals and mass murderers.
If you think you are better than "this" ask yourself why Henry Kissinger is a free and very wealthy man while Trayvon Martin is dead.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Thu Dec 11, 2014, 03:44 AM (10 replies)
I don't think I need to say more. Do I?
And, if I do need to say more, what does it say to us about our country and our party? Do you think that the fact that a member of our party is in the White House at the moment means that we should not rock the boat? That's treating politics---the lives and well beings of our fellow human beings---as a team sport. Sure, the Republicans will blame the Democrats for the blowback---violence aimed at Americans in Muslim countries. Sure, the press will tell us that Obama and the Democratic Senate are responsible for every US flag that gets burned, because the torture report was released on their watch. They will urge us to put it all behind us and Move On. They will warn that trials will uncover more atrocities and fan the flames of third world anger and violence, and we don't want that, do we?
Do we want Cheney and Bush held liable for what they condoned? Yes, I know that the report absolves them of guilt. That's because the CIA worships the Bush family. They are willing to take a bullet for George Sr. and his brood of pampered children. The report is, in itself, a whitewash of the war crimes committed by the Bush/Cheney White House. Unless we get someone outside of politics as usual, an independent prosecutor to investigate, we will never uncover the truth---
And, when Brother Jeb finally steals his own presidential election, the war crimes will start all over again. Which is the real reason that we have war crimes tribunals. The dead are beyond helping. The victims do not magically forget their ordeal once the guilty are brought to justice. We hold war crimes trials, like those at Nuremberg, so that it will Never Happen Again.
In 1973, Noam Chomsky warned us what was going to happen under Bush/Cheney. He did it in a piece called "Watergate: A Skeptical View"
But it is likely that the major long-term consequence of the present confrontation between Congress and the President will be to establish executive power still more firmly. Nixon's legal strategy is probably a winning one, if not for him (for he has violated the rules), then for the position that the Presidency is beyond the reach of the law. Kleindienst, Ehrlichman, and Nixon's lawyers have laid the issue out squarely. In spite of their occasional disclaimers, the import of their position is that the President is subject to no legal constraints. The executive alone determines when and whom to prosecute, and is thus immune. When issues of national security are invoked, all bars are down.
Welcome to the future that Chomsky imagined in 1973, a world in which baseball players are subject to Congressional investigation and federal prosecution for using steroids, but those who commit war crimes are treated as patriots---good team players. Enjoy your stay in 1984---or do something about it.
Posted by McCamy Taylor | Tue Dec 9, 2014, 03:59 PM (43 replies)